- How does this sound? Deadbeat's Radio Rothko : Scion's Arrange and Process Basic Channel Tracks :: Richie Hawtin's Decks, EFX & 909 : Jeff Mills's Live at the Liquid Room, Tokyo. Easy enough, right? Yet it isn't, not least because the circumstances this one comes out into are so different.
The comparisons are between classic mix CDs and a later one with a similar template and aim. At a time when Soundcloud will absorb us all, there's something special about (weird to type this) the old-fashioned mix CD. So many mixes abound online, at so many different skill levels, that it's easier than ever to appreciate the kind of work that goes into licensing (even handshake deals take time), selecting and whittling down a fully legal mix CD. Going those extra steps tends to mean more thinking about it along the way, a refining process crucial to a mix of this scope.
What Deadbeat sets out is a kind of Whitman's Sampler of dub, techno and minimal's intertwining paths, heavy on the Basic Channel family, with dabs from debtors like Pendle Coven and 2562. The mix takes its sweet, patient time establishing itself, a radically minimalist gesture in any era; the build-up is sweetly agitating, and the way it blossoms in different directions is clearly pre-meditated, without seeming clinical.
The set begins so starkly it's practically invisible. Various Artists' "No. 3 (Debit)" and Deepchord's "Grandbend" are like oddly flexible panes of very thin glass; the subdued beat of Basic Channel's "Quandrant Dub 1" eases us into hardier terrain. Leisurely and with great care, he glides through luxuriant techno like Marko Fürstenberg's "Site 312," a mix of fuzzy static, distant bell-echo, rubbery kick drum and occasional conga spritzes, before, over successive tracks by Monolake and Deadbeat himself, the DJ steers us toward straighter dub that's still haunted by all the rustling synth echoes that preceded it. Deadbeat's own "Deep Structure," with its wobbling walls of synths and deeply felt low end, is the perfect ending—a kind of culmination of what he's spent an hour showcasing. He's not the first to do so, nor will he be the last, but what he has done is remarkably powerful.
01. Deadbeat - As We Conquer (09 edit)
02. Various Artists - No. 3 (debit)
03. DeepChord - Grandbend
04. Basic Channel - Quadrant Dub I
05. Pendle Coven - Exigen
06. Deadbeat - Port of Rix
07. MLZ - Dark Days
08. Quantec - Electromagnetic Pulse
09. Marko Furstenberg - Site 312
10. Monolake - Static
11. Deadbeat - Magnetic North
12. 2562 - Redux
13. Monolake - Sepia
14. Rhythm and Sound - Mango Drive
15. Intrusion - Tswana Dub (Phase90 Restructure)
16. Mikkel Metal - Stephan
17. Maurizio - M06A
18. Substance & Vainqueur - Reverberation
19. Deadbeat - Deep Structure